Muskies, Irish, Saints and Mudcats headed to state

Austin Bachman scores for New Prague during their playoff game against St. Benedict Tuesday, July 30, at Jordan. (Chuck Kajer Photo)

New Market, St. Patrick, St. Benedict and Prior Lake have qualified for the State Class C Amateur Baseball Tournament, which begins Friday, Aug. 16, in Delano, Maple Lake and Dassel.

New Market was the first team to earn its spot in the tourney with a 17-0 win over Faribault Tuesday, July 30. The next night, St. Patrick defeated Prior Lake 8-2. St. Benedict and Prior Lake qualified with wins on Friday in the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament.

On Sunday, Aug. 4, New Market defeated St. Patrick in a winner’s bracket game and St. Benedict downed Prior Lake in a loser’s bracket game, giving Prior Lake the No. 4 seed for Region 3C.

St. Patrick will play St. Benedict at 7:30 p.m. in New Prague (St. Benedict is the home team). The loser will be the No. 3 seed from Region 3C at state. The winner will face New Market for the region championship Friday, Aug. 9, at 7:30 p.m. That site has not been determined If New Market loses this game, a final game would be played Sunday, Aug. 11, at 1 p.m. to determine the No. 1 seed.

Tuesday, July 30 Muskies 17, Lakers 0 The Muskies defeated Faribault 17-0 in a winner’s bracket game in the Region 3C Tournament Tuesday, July 30. Tyler Bergstrom had a grand slam and Tony Vocca pitched six shutout innings for New Market. Vocca also had three hits, as did Brett Herber. Dan Phyle, Scott Lyden, Andy Henkemeyer, Nate Rost and Justin Firpo each had two hits. Blake Langerud had two of Faribault’s three hits. Egan Bonde took the loss. The game was played in Veseli. Saints 8, Orioles 6 St. Benedict defeated New Prague 8-6 in Jordan to eliminate the Orioles from the playoffs. New Prague scored four times in the third inning to take a 4-0 lead, taking advantage of three Saints errors in the inning. Cade Pavek, Austin Bachmann, and James Fuerness all had hits in the inning. St. Benedict rallied to keep their season alive. Carter Johnson had a basesclearing single and scored on a squeeze bunt from Jeremy Heitkamp to tie the game at four. Tanner Oakes had three hits for the Saints and was the winning pitcher, going six innings. Trey Kocher pitched the final three frames, earning the save. Bachmann had three hits for the Orioles.

Wednesday, July 31 Irish 8, Mudcats 2 Nick Spitt danced around trouble for six innings and picked up the win 8-2 over Prior Lake, giving the Irish a berth in the state tournament. The Irish scored four in the second inning, which started with a catchers interference and a walk followed by a triple from Ryan Friedges. On a failed squeeze attempt, Friedges was caught between third and home but a Mudcat throwing error plated him, making it 3-0. Jace Westman would then single and eventually score on a passed ball. The score remained 4-0 until the seventh inning when Matt Ambroz hit his third home run of the season to make the score 6-0. The Mudcats would plate a run in the eighth and again in the ninth, but Josh Simon was able to hold on to his three-inning save. BJ Benz and Jerad Lehrer had an RBI apiece for Prior Lake. The Irish were led by Matt Ambroz’s 3-for-4 night which included the homer, a double and two RBIs. The game was played in Jordan. Aces 10, Mallards 8 In Montgomery, the Lonsdale Aces scored two runs in the eighth inning to claim a 10-8 win in a back-and-forth game. Devin Vosejpka had three hits for Lonsdale and Marty Kalina, Ross Beumer, Zach Breeden, Jack Skluzacek and Trevor Smrekar had two each. The loss eliminated Montgomery from the tournament. Montgomery’s Tom Flicek went 5-for-5 with two RBIs and Jake McCabe and Aaron Dwyer had two hits each. Isaac Pint got the win and Beumer the save. Robbie Marshall took the loss.

Friday, Aug. 2 Mudcats 7, Aces 0 Prior Lake’s Ben Morrison struck out nine and allowed just four hits in a 7-0 shutout over Lonsdale to give his team a state tourney berth. Luke Weber, Cole Bjorge and Jake Lehrer each had two hits for the Mudcats. Tyler Milford started for Lonsdale and took the loss. The game was played at Prior Lake. Saints 2, Lakers 1 St. Benedict clinched a State Tournament berth with a thrilling 2-1 win at Faribault. Tanner Oakes on twodays rest went eight plus innings. Oakes struck out 13 and walked none in what will go down as an all-time epic performance, leaving the mound after seven innings and returning with two outs and two on in the bottom of the eighth to finish out the game. The Saints took a 1-0 lead on Carter Johnson's sacrifice fly after consecutive singles from Nick Heitkamp and Zach Bakko. St. Benedict pushed their lead to 2-0 as Mitchell Martin and Nick Heitkamp each singled in the seventh. Faribault cut the lead in half on an RBI single in the eighth inning by Matt Lane, but the Lakers stranded the tying run on third base in both the eighth and ninth innings. Lane started and went the distance for Faribault, and also had double-digit strikeouts.

Sunday, Aug. 4 Muskies 16, Irish 8 St. Patrick appeared to take command with six runs in the third inning to take a 6-1 lead, but New Market scored seven in the home half of the fourth inning and never relented in taking a 16-8 win. Scott Lyden, Andy Henkemeyer, Tyler Bergstrom and Brett Herber all homered for the Muskies. Matt Ambroz had three hits, including a home run for St. Patrick and Matt Pexa also had three hits. Brett Herber took the win, while Phillip Garcia was tagged with the loss.

Saints 17, Mudcats 4 St. Benedict pounded out 21 hits and scored 17 runs to defeat host Prior Lake 17-4 in a loser’s bracket game. The Mudcats scored four runs in the bottom of the first to take an early lead, but the Saints answered with four in the top of the second to tie the game, then scored seven in the third and continued to pummel Prior Lake pitching. Jeremy Heitkamp, Wade Olsen, Mitchell Martin, Nick Heitkamp and Carter Johnson each had three hits. Cole Minnick pitched five innings for the win. Corbin Cross had two hits and Ben Morrison two RBIs for the Mudcats. Greg Faue, Morrison, and Michael Walerius had RBI hits in the first inning for the Mudcats. Isaac Saad took the loss.

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